Re: film adaptations

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Posted by Ed Kiser on August 29, 2015 at 07:48:47 user Kisered.

In Reply to: Re: film adaptations posted by Adam Quinan on August 28, 2015 at 14:02:03:

Reactions to changes being made when turning a book into a movie
perhaps is influenced by which came first, the chicken or the
egg. Perhaps it is the version that we encountered first and
enjoyed it that way, only to have many years later, this new
version comes out that has its differences from the "official"
one that I grew up with and learned to love.

For the Wizard of Oz, that was a movie I saw when I was just a
child. It make quite an impression on me. In later years, I was
able to see it again and again on TV, so I was quite familiar
with it and liked what I saw. The book I out found on Gutenberg
on the internet and was surprised, startled, and disppointed to
read this verson that was quite diffent from the "official"
version that I knew so well.

The same is true for The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, as
both of these were first discovered as movies, with reruns on TV,
with me viewing them again on my personal DVD, and then to
encounter the TEXT version where it seemed so wrong as it was not
what I had come to know and love.

With the Ransome books, the written work came first. I grew up
with these. I knew them. I reread them - many times. This is
how it was. These was the adventures that I had shared with
these childhood friends of mine so many times. Then comes a
movie where it seems that things got screwed up. There is
perhaps a willingness to accept certain features were shortened,
or perhaps dropped, for the purpose of making it fit into the
showtime allowed, but to add stuff that just was not there is
like LYING to contradict the truth that I KNEW to be the case,
and that is what becomes objectionable.

Consider the audiobook version that Gabriel Woolf so well
performed in which some passages were edited out but he did not
add new features to the original. Somehow that was acceptable
and has my praise as to being a job well done. The editing was
done well so in listening to his version, it is not a sudden
realization on my part, knowing the book so well, to feel
dismayed that something got left out. It is only by reading
along with him with my book in front of me do I become aware that
he has skipped a bit.

So perhaps it is what version we first encountered and lived with
that we feel is the "right" way, and this new slant becomes a bit
awkward, and with added stuff very objectionable.

So which is better - the book or the movie? Perhaps it is really
which one we did grow up with to became familiar with to know and
to love, is what we think is the better version, because it
matches that image burned into our memories. This new effort,
this distortion of the truth, this "made up" stuff, that is not
the way it was, so it becomes objectionable. Too bad it is so
hard apparently to convert the BOOK, Swallows and Amazons, into a
real movie, wherein we can SEE and HEAR those adventures once
again that we have known and loved for so long from our books.

But I wonder, will the actors in such a movie really look like
the REAL people I came to know and love from reading the book,
where their images are created by Ransome by his words and come
to live on in my mental capacity as being the REAL version?

That transition from the mental to the visual image of these
people can have its surprises, the same way I felt when certain
well known characters we knew from hearing them on the radio
suddenly made the transition to TV, where now we could see them,
and feel that visual image as being so different from the one in
my mind that I had known for so many years.

Perhaps it is time to take the book down again and reread it, and
reinforce those mental images of the REAL version of these
characters to be the way I have always known them to be, in my

Ed Kiser, Kentucky, USA [ ]

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